On Friday, Jan. 5, 1979, Prince made page 1D of the Minneapolis Star.
The piece about the 19-year-old singer’s return to Minneapolis was below the fold, under a piece about Disney.
More than 38 years later, you can see that page in full thanks to the Star Tribune’s newly digitized archives.
Until now, archives from The Minneapolis Tribune and The Minneapolis Star, which merged in 1982, weren’t all available in one place. Now, the Star Tribune has digitized more than 54,000 issues from the past 150 years.
“We expect an explosion of discovery and sharing of fascinating things from our archives,” said Cory Powell, director of new and niche products.
The Star Tribune is giving away free PDFs of any front page from the archives right now. Getting to click through the past isn’t free, though. Access for 30 days costs $7.99, and a six-month subscription costs $29.95. The archives were digitized with underwriting from Thomson Reuters and in partnership with newspapers.com.
Other news organizations have come up with ways to repurpose their archives, including mining for unpublished nuggets at The New York Times, resurfacing the relevant at The Washington Post and sharing 100 years worth of images at Alabama Media Group.
The Star Tribune, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017, has spent the last year rethinking and reworking its legacy approach to news.
“In hundreds of ways, we’re working to become a more modern, digital newsroom,” Powell said. “This is one example of how we’ve replaced an old, manual, analog process of mining paper clippings and microfilm with a digital research resource that’s available to every reporter from their laptop.”
Here are a few clips from the archives: